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Jewish Philosophy: Humanist Roots Of A Contradiction In Terms

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Chapter Summary

The concept of "Jewish philosophy" can be understood as the expression of a conflict between cultures. This chapter presents the modern definition, or conception, of &t;Jewish&t; philosophy. It deals with the question of the historic use of the term in the Wissenschaft des Judentums. The chapter addresses the way in which the nature of "Jewish philosophy" is conceived, in its dual historical sense as both Jewish wisdom and Jewish theology. The emergence and use of the term "Jewish philosophy" raises two issues. First, there is the search for a Jewish identity that, having originated in a specific (temporally conditioned?) self-image, has been subject to constant revision, or at least discussion, ever since. Secondly, there is the issue of the relevance of the general philosophical discourse to a peculiarly Jewish outlook on the world.

Keywords: Jewish identity; Jewish philosophy; Wissenschaft des Judentums



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